George Hill's return helped ignite the Indiana Pacers offense, as they have taken a 55-47 lead in to halftime. Hill, who was cleared to play just hours before tip-off after clearing the NBA's concussion test, started for Indiana as they jumped out to a 29-27 lead at the end of a surprisingly fast-paced first quarter. Carmelo Anthony's 12 points kept the Knicks in the ball game, as he and Paul George, his primary defender, both played all 12 minutes in the quarter.
The unusually high scoring continued in the second quarter, but the Pacers were able to extend their lead thanks to the combination of their continued dominance inside and jump shots for any Knick not named Carmelo Anthony clanging off the rim. Before the game, Drew Garrison listed three storylines that would help determine Game 6. Here's where we stand so far.
Will the Pacers cut down their turnovers?
They did for most of the first quarter, but then the reserves came in and they started piling up a bit. Overall though, the return of Hill did a lot to cut down on the turnovers, as the Pacers have eight for the half. Not ideal, but not on pace for the 19 they had in Game 5. Hill even led Indiana on a couple of fast breaks, something that's been a rare sight in this series.
Can Chris Copeland stretch the floor for the Knicks again?
Not really, but it wasn't his fault in the first half either. Mike Woodson seemed hesitant to go small until midway through the second quarter, which limited Copeland's effectiveness. It's unclear how much more we'll see Copeland in the second half, especially at the stretch 4, since the Pacers are out rebounding the Knicks 24-15.
The battle between Paul George and Carmelo Anthony
Advantage Anthony so far. George has been effective guarding him, but Anthony's taking advantage of the tiniest amount of space to score. Anthony has 20 points to George's 10. Unfortunately for Anthony, he's not getting a ton of help, which could mean we're going to see a ton of Carmelo isolation in the second half.